As the Red Bull Global Rallycross series heads to Daytona International Speedway this weekend for Rounds 4 and 5 of the championship, Rick Allen will be on the call for this weekend’s show, which airs at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday on NBC.
Allen, the lead lap-by-lap announcer for NBC’s NASCAR coverage, will make his Red Bull GRC commentating debut at Daytona this weekend. Although as you’ll see below, it’s an opportunity to return to his roots in a way.
We caught up with him for a quick Q&A leading into the opportunity. NASCAR on NBC resumes on July 2, also from Daytona International Speedway but on the more traditional 2.5-mile oval.
NBCSports.com: In your second year with NBC, how cool has it been to be afforded option to spread your wings beyond other forms of racing like NASCAR?
Rick Allen: “Joining the NBC Sports family has been a perfect fit for me. I love all sports, really all competitions. Being able to call college basketball earlier this year and Indycar races this summer has been wonderful. I’m really excited for this weekend and the Global Rallycross races in Daytona.”
NBC: How often have you had the opportunity to watch GRC races? Have you ever called any form of racing involving a dirt section before?
RA: “When Rich O’Connor asked if I would call the races this weekend I said “that’s the series where they race on a short track that is part dirt, part asphalt, has a jump and the joker lap?” I’m in!!!! My first race announcing was at a dirt track in Nebraska, that’s where TV all started for me.”
NBC: What excites you about GRC? What different preparation do you have to do for this race?
RA: “I think with GRC it’s much more about the drivers and their stories. The races are so intense from the green light that I really have to focus more on the conversation between the races. The drivers all have such great backgrounds from different disciplines that we can let the fans know a little more about their personalities and how they got to where they are today.”
NBC: How different is it going to be to call such short spurts of racing, knowing the GRC races are so much shorter compared to a more standard 2-3 hour broadcast?
RA: “That’s one of the best things about GRC, great racing in short bursts. My attention span is about the length of the race so it works out perfectly for me.”
NBC: Calling Daytona, is there a welcome comfort that comes with knowing it’s a track and venue you have experience with, even if the race format and series is different?
RA: “I really enjoy Daytona and the community there. They embrace racing no matter what form or series. So I will be more comfortable knowing I’m hanging out watching racing with friends.”